Patna: Former Army Chief General V K Singh on Monday said the democratic polity and foundations of the Indian republic are in a "serious crisis", rueing the absence of consensus among mainstream political parties on governance issues.
Gen(retd) Singh, who retired three months ago and has since lent his voice to Anna Hazare`s anti-graft movement, also said corruption in the country has spread like "cancer" and was prevalent everywhere.
"It will not be an understatement to say that our democratic polity and foundations of our republic are in serious crisis," he observed, and said the problems must be understood and rectified to take the nation-building process forward.
"Corruption has spread like cancer to eat into the vitals of the country ... It is everywhere," he told a national conference on `Eradication of Corruption : Social Responsibility and Challenge` here.
"The scourge has become so pervasive that it has become quite legitimate for a person to say give me money, I will give you work," Singh said, adding it pained him that this was in sharp contrast to the time when legendary freedom fighter Subhash Chandra Bose exhorted countrymen to fight for freedom with his call - `Give me blood, I will give you freedom`.
Black money was another issue dogging the country and corrupt persons have stashed their huge ill gotten wealth in foreign shores, the former Army chief said.
The black money stashed abroad was so big in size that the country could fast-track development of infrastructure and provide civil amenities to its citizens if it could be brought back.
Gen Singh slammed attempts by some elements to cast aspersion on the institution of armed forces, saying the critics should remember that the army was the last resort of security of the country.
Vested interests, including the arms suppliers lobby had attacked the army for prevalence of corruption among other issues, he said.
On other issues, he said the Maoist movement could spread throughout the country if remedial measures were not taken to address the root cause behind its growth.